International travel spend ‘held up’ in August

International travel spending held up in August despite growth levels reducing, according to new data.

Spending levels in travel agencies more than halved last month over July as the summer season drew to an end.

Outlay remained in growth at 3.7% in August despite a monthly fall from 7.8%.

Meanwhile, spend on airlines also continued to grow at a level of 32.1%, yet the uplift was lower than the July rise of 39.1%.

Monthly transaction growth through travel agents was recorded at 6.7% and airlines by 29.5%.     

The figures are revealed today (Tuesday) by Barclays as it reported that overall high street spending fell last month due to rainy weather.

Despite this, the travel sector maintained a monthly growth trajectory of 10.7%.

While the wetter weather, combined with the slowing rate of inflation, meant spending on non-essential items saw less growth (3.7%) than July (5.6%), there were some bright spots across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

Barclays director Esme Harwood said: “The rainy weather impacted high street and hospitality venues in August, but Brits were still keen to spend on memorable summer experiences. 

“The huge box office success of ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ meant entertainment enjoyed another strong month, while holidays abroad boosted international travel and pharmacy, health and beauty stores

“Shrinkflation – and now ‘skimpflation’ – are increasing concerns for value-seeking shoppers. 

“However, Brits’ confidence in their household finances is unwavering, suggesting they remain resilient in the face of these inflationary pressures.”       

The bank’s UK economist Abbas Khan added: Muted spending growth in August is in line with other data sources, such as soft PMIs and stalling consumer confidence, suggesting that the bite from monetary tightening is starting to be felt more acutely.

“However, with further moderation in inflation and strong wage growth set to support real household disposable incomes, we continue to think the economy will avoid a recession in the coming quarters, even if growth is only set to be sluggish.”


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